Lider, Brazil's largest offshore oil operator, signed a contract for the purchase of the 10 S-76C+ aircraft that will bring to 14 the total S-76C+ helicopters sold in 2003 to that nation's offshore operators.
This represents a major milestone in the introduction of the S-76C+ in Brazil and a major step towards the fulfillment of Petrobras' objective in the helicopter fleet renewal program.
The firm deliveries will help refresh the existing fleet of 14 S-76A aircraft currently in service with Lider, and complement the overall fleet of more than 35 S-76A helicopters providing offshore transportation to Petrobras and the other oil companies operating in Brazil.
Sales of Sikorsky's innovative S-76 have reached a 20-year high as VIP customers and offshore oil operators continue to populate their fleets with the high-performance helicopter. Since December 2002, Sikorsky has received contracts for 59 S-76C+ aircraft, with options for an additional 57 over five years.
"Lider has been a valued customer for more than 30 years, upholding exceptional traditions of safety and reliability," said Jeff Pino, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Commercial Programs. "Sikorsky is proud of the contribution that the S-76 has made to Lider's success."
The S-76C+ is a venerable fixture in offshore oil, corporate, SAR and EMS activities across the globe. Recent milestones for the S-76 include the S-76C+ receiving The Robb Report's 2003 award for "Best Luxury Helicopter," and an S-76A currently in airline service surpassing the 25,000-hour mark.
An uprated version of the proven S-76 helicopter, the S-76C+ combines the rugged S-76B airframe with the more capable, FADEC-controlled Turbomeca Arriel 2S1 engine. It offers improved single engine and hot-high performance while retaining the efficient, long-range cruise of the earlier models.
Operating in 44 countries by 192 operators, more than 530 Sikorsky S-76 helicopters have accumulated over three million flight hours with an extraordinary safety record, while providing the best combination of operating costs and performance in their weight class.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing and service. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX), of Hartford, Conn., which provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.